About Us

There are four of Them: three girls and one boy, little stair-steps all. There are two of Us: best friends, co-parents and truly in love. The Six of us have epic adventures full of laughter and love, occasionally containing tears, but always together.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In Which We All Visit the A&E, Twice in One Day

This half-term break was supposed to be a quiet one.  We weren't travelling anywhere and we didn't have big plans.  Dadam had the Monday off because it was President's Day in the States and we had a lovely family day together.  We visted the National Media Museum and explored all things film and television.  It was really interesting and we learned some fascinating things about animation, IMAX film and television sets.  A good day out at a free museum; you can't beat that!  Tuesday the kiddos and I went up to have lunch with Dadam and then spent the afternoon at the bowling alley taking advantage of their half-term holiday special rates.  The kids are such a kick to go bowling with.  We found a ball that had five finger holes and that was a big hit!  Wednesday we had a day of playdates.  We went to another family's house in the morning and in the afternoon a friend of The Boy-child's and a friend of Lu-Lu's came over. 

As an aside - The Boy-child has been having some problems lately with being, well, the.boy.child.  Often the girls don't want to play what he wants to, football.always, and the three of them can often come up with a game they'll play for hours (school, teachers, ballet school, did I mention school?).   He ends up having no one to play with, or choosing to play with no one.  And he feels sad.  I made sure to arrange a special playdate with one of the boys from his class.  They had an amazing time!  They played football and American football outside.  They came in and played one game of Wii Bowling.  Then it was off to Star Wars Legos and then an imaginary light saber duel that took place through out the house.  It was really fantastic.  The Boy-child was so happy.  I was so happy to see him so happy. 

Thursday morning we had tickets to see a play.  PrincessE and I had seen it advertised when she took a Girl Guides tour of the playhouse.  It seemed like a fantastic activity to do over half-term and we were all very excited.  The play was really lovely and we all enjoyed it.  Noodle was a little unsure and spent the whole time in my lap, but soon became enthralled.  And because it was a show specifically aimed at the younger set, the theater was anything but quiet so we blended right in.

We got home from the show and the kids all headed to the play room.  I was getting lunch stuff ready and I heard a horrible, awful, no good noise come from PrincessE.  She was kneeling in the play tent clutching her face and I knew right away she had smashed her face on the art-table bench that was on the outside of the tent wall.  I just didn't know what part she had damaged.  I pulled her out and she began clutching her eye and wailing.  I got her in a sitting position and pried her hands from her eye and saw that she had cut open her cheek, right under her eye.  After getting some ice on it and having a closer look, I thought we should make a trip to the A&E (accident and emergency).  So off we went.  They put a few drops of glue on her and called it good.  The most challenging part of the gluing was getting her outrageously, lovely, long eyelashes out of the way so the nurse didn't glue them too! 

As it happened, it was the first day of sunshine in a very long time.  After feeding everyone, they all went out to play.  PrincessE had a black eye, but other than that she felt just fine.  Blissful hours passed and it was getting dusk.  Everyone else had come in and The Boy-child was taking off his wet clothing.  he noticed the door was still open, he put his left hand on the door jamb, left thumb in the hinge and as I yelled "Be care....." he slammed that thumb in the door.  Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued, the thumb was green and  purple all at once.  When I could finally get it from him to look at it, it was so swollen he couldn't bend it.  After icing it and giving him ibuprofen and making a call to my consultants back in Oregon (Thanks GranEde and GranDude!) I decided he needed to get an x-ray.  Dadam got home, got changed, had a quick bite and took The Boy-child back down to A&E.  Thankfully shift change had already happened.  It wasn't broken (shew) and they were back home just slightly past bedtime. 

No CPS people (or whatever they are called here) have shown up at the door, yet....
Is it good karma to have the ER vists all at once or is it bad?  All I know is that I could really go without. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

On To Nine

Dearest PrincessE,

And another year has passed; more growing, learning, experimenting, changing. Every year I think of how it seems only yesterday I held you in the NICU, only yesterday I watched you learn to walk, only yesterday I saw you climb on the school bus and head away from me to kindergarten.

But this birthday, I am also thinking of how I more often see flashes of the beautiful, amazing, thoughtful, brilliant young woman you are becoming. No doubt, you still have childhood plenty left to enjoy and truly, there is no rush. But she is there, silently waiting for you to grow in to her.

I have noted and admired, this year, your unflappable self-confidence. Your know you are a "different" kid. Your family is different, your interests are different, your outlook on life and way of thinking are different. And rather than succumb to the pressure to be the same (or at least be highly negative about being different), you have ignored the negative words and held your head high, while enjoying your "different" life. Your confidence is unassuming and the other kids are attracted by it and your differences. It isn't easy sometimes, but your positive attitude and choosing to ignore what other people share that isn't positive, is amazing.

You are striving and excelling in school. I am so proud of the hard work you are doing in maths. You have made huge advances. And I know you are still working hard and still moving forward. You are gaining knowledge at an amazing pace. Just the other day, I was amazed to see that you can use several computer programs nearly better than me! I always beam with pride at the rave reviews I get from your teachers.

I know you have had a hard time choosing your one outside activity. I can see how much you enjoy a physical challenge and I know you are tempted to quit Girl Guides and choose something else. I hope, though, that the swim lessons and in-school cross country is meeting that need because I can also see how you come home from Girl Guides glowing with excitement at what you've gotten to experience. But, like all things in life, you will choose what you will choose. And that's a good thing.

We have seen an uptick in experiments with autonomy. You were never a "dependent" child, as it were. We have phone calls with friends and sleepovers and hugs in the school yard (or not, as the case may be) to help you experiment further with where Dadam and I end and you begin. I have to admit, I am privately struggling. All these things seem grownup, teenagerish and I am not fully prepared. Thankfully, as scary as it all is, the changes are slow and I am reminded to enjoy you now and remember that this is the way of life.

Another year begins, where will it take us? I don't know, but the grand experiment continues. I am sure you will take it all in with your large, beautiful brown eyes and gleefully, full of laughter and smiles, grow and amaze us all further.

I love being your Mommy and watching you grow and growing and learning with you. I love you so much, PrincessE. Happy Birthday.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hugs and Kisses

I always kiss and hug the kids as they head off to school in the morning. They have always responded enthusiastically and in kind. Until....

A few weeks ago I noticed that PrincessE was half-heartedly giving me a hug, sort of a one shoulder sort of thing. Then her kisses became glancing and an attempt to get away from me as fast as possible. At first, I demanded a proper hug and kiss, but the more I did that, the more reticent she became. I asked her why it was happening and what was going on, but she wouldn't tell me anything. She was even loathe to admit that she didn't want the physical affection in public any more.

I told Dadam about it and admitted that I wasn't ready for this stage, though intellectually I knew it would come at some point. He suggested that I tell her I wasn't ready to not hug her, so could we do a hug and a kiss at the car, instead of on the school grounds. Brilliant! (This is why parenting is best done with two people!!)

I presented the idea to PrincessE and she liked that solution. Monday morning we hopped out of the car and she reminded me, "kiss and hug at the car, Mom."

I gave her a kiss and a hug and she was on her way. Then, today we got out of the car and I said, "Time for a kiss and a hug?" And she said, "You can just give me one up by my classroom."

I am still confused. Did I need to prove my ability to let go and adapt? Did she want to check and see if she was ready to get rid of those "childish" needs? Probably some of both and more I can't think of.

Quite frankly, I hope she never grows out of my hugs and kisses. And I'll keep trying to find ways to give them to her, even if she doesn't want them at school.